Read about Chiara Cirelli, M.D., Ph.D., in the September 2006 issue.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
A sleep researcher, Chiara Cirelli prefers to get at least 7 hours of shuteye each night. As she dozes off, she often thinks about why animals sleep.
Some scientists say that sleep gives the body a chance to repair itself or that it provides the brain time to organize its thoughts. But Cirelli thinks it helps us learn more the next day. She’s using model organisms to prove this and other hypotheses that could put the debate to rest.